July 2011

Victory For Goliath Predicted

Submitted by patentadmin on Mon, 07/25/2011 - 21:59

Some time ago we made mention of a lawsuit brought by Facebook against the folks at Teachbook. Well, in checking back on this matter, we found that the teachers have filed a motion to dismiss Facebook’s complaint. Facebook, naturally, has opposed this motion. While the matter remains undecided, the briefs merit some comment. Facebook Inc. v. Teachbook.com LLC.

A Mixed Blessing

Submitted by patentadmin on Wed, 07/20/2011 - 11:29

The Bible tells us that the meek shall inherit the Earth. One religious group, however, has chosen to vigorously assert its trademark rights while awaiting its inheritance. (The General Council of the Assemblies of God v. The Ranger Supply Store Inc. et al.)

Lodsys Lawsuit Drives App Developers Out of US Market; New Patent Lawsuit Filed

Submitted by patentadmin on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 10:15

July 18, 2011 - A story in the Guardian reported that many app developers are withdrawing their products from the US versions of the Apple App Store and Google's Android Market because they fear being sued by companies such as Lodsys, which earlier this year launched a lawsuit against several developers of iPhone apps.

Another Problematic Provision in the America Invents Act Targets Business Method Patents

Submitted by patentadmin on Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:28

July 11, 2011 – Though it didn’t get as much press as the “first to invent” change, Section 18 of the Senate version of the America Invents Act (S. 23) – a provision making it easier for the banking industry to invalidate business method patents – fueled speculation that Wall Street had bought a favor from Congress.

The provision was introduced by Charles Schumer (D-NY) as a result of the litigation headaches his big bank constituents were suffering from a company called DataTreasury Corporation.

Facing It

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 07/08/2011 - 10:52

Some people use Facebook’s Friend Finder service to renew contact with old friends or to maintain contact with present friends. It’s an annoying and pathetic form of social interaction; but it’s legal. However, a newly discovered aspect of the service may not be so benign, or so say Robyn Cohen et al. v. Facebook, Inc.

Silly Arguments

Submitted by patentadmin on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 10:27

We have twice written about the unfortunate – or, depending on your viewpoint, nefarious – Mr. Timothy S. Vernor, who was found guilty of copyright infringement when he purchased and resold a number of used copies of Autodesk computer software (see A Bargain and We’re Number One Again). Well, Tim is now petitioning to have the case heard by the United States Supreme Court.

No Gratitude

Submitted by patentadmin on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 20:33

It is not unknown for a losing party to refuse to pay its attorneys’ bills. Shocking, but not unknown. What is unknown – until now – is the winning party refusing to pay its attorneys’ bills.

Wall Street Journal - "Tech Consortium Gets Nortel Patents For $4.5B"

As the IP world reacts to the outcome of the biggest patent auction in history - the sale of the Nortel Networks patent portfolio, which went to a consortium of companies for $4.5 billion - GPC's Alexander Poltorak was one of the experts quoted in "Tech Consortium Gets Nortel Patents For $4.5B" (Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2011).

Article excerpt:

The Globe and Mail - "Patent sale marks end of line for once-mighty Nortel"

The much-discussed Nortel Networks Corp. patent portfolio was sold in early July to a consortium of six companies led by Research in Motion (RIM) and Apple Inc. The patents sold for $4.5 billion - over twice as much as analysts had predicted. The consortium outbid Google, which is currently involved in about 45 lawsuits related to its Android operating system and needed a larger patent portfolio to help defend itself against such litigation.

The Last Word – Revisited

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 07/01/2011 - 19:39

As in the past we have so eloquently noted (see The Last Word), the Supreme Court held in its famous Bilski decision that the C.A.F.C.’s “machine-or-transformation test” (affectionately known as MORT by us patent professionals), although “a useful and important clue,” is NOT the sole test for determining the patentability of process claims.

Moviegoers Rejoice

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 07/01/2011 - 19:26

Recently, we wrote of the copyright litigation involving the newly-released movie "The Hangover Part II" (see our blog post Interesting Wrinkles). In the movie, a principal character drunkenly has his face tattooed with a duplicate of the tattoo on boxer Mike Tyson’s face (Yes, that is the movie’s plot.). S. Victor Whitmill, the “tattoo artist” who applied the original tattoo to Mike’s face, sued Warner Bros. for copyright infringement and sought a preliminary injunction barring the release of the movie.